Officials break ground on Oak Ridge Kroger Marketplace

Officials break ground on Oak Ridge Kroger Marketplace

Posted:
Officials in Oak Ridge broke ground Thursday morning on a new Kroger Marketplace. Officials in Oak Ridge broke ground Thursday morning on a new Kroger Marketplace.
The 123,000 square foot store will anchor the soon-to-be James Edward Westcott Shopping Center, named after the famed Manhattan Project photographer. The 123,000 square foot store will anchor the soon-to-be James Edward Westcott Shopping Center, named after the famed Manhattan Project photographer.
"It's really kind of the beginning of a rebirth for our community," said Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan. "It's really kind of the beginning of a rebirth for our community," said Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan.
"It's going to give shoppers a greater opportunity to purchase more goods that a lot of times they would have to go to Knoxville to actually buy," said Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank. "It's going to give shoppers a greater opportunity to purchase more goods that a lot of times they would have to go to Knoxville to actually buy," said Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank.

By DREW GARDNER
6 News Reporter

OAK RIDGE (WATE) - Officials in Oak Ridge broke ground Thursday morning on a new Kroger Marketplace. The store is going in at the intersection of Oak Ridge Turnpike and Illinois Avenue.

The 123,000 square foot store will anchor the soon-to-be James Edward Westcott Shopping Center, named after the famed Manhattan Project photographer. The new store is expected to fill a large void for Oak Ridge shoppers.

"It will have home goods an expanded baby, expanded toys and just a really nice variety," said Kroger's Nashville Division President Rick Going.

"It's going to give shoppers a greater opportunity to purchase more goods that a lot of times they would have to go to Knoxville to actually buy," said Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank.

The new location not only means extra convenience for shoppers, but also extra tax dollars staying in the community. With those extra dollars also comes extra jobs. 160 are coming from Kroger alone and even more will come from other retailers expected to set up shop in the center.

"It's really kind of the beginning of a rebirth for our community," said Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan. "We've got good schools, we've got safe neighborhoods and man we've got some great economic development coming out of this."

That development is already well underway. Crews have been working for several weeks tearing down homes and businesses that once stood on the corner. Each owner left willingly to make way for the new center.

"There was actually 57 different properties that had to be acquired and it's an investment from the Kroger company of about 33 million dollars," said Going.

"Everyone agreed to sell, including the Unitarian Church, so it was a real testament to the partnership that the folks in the community took with the city and with Kroger," added Frank.

Construction of the new shopping center is expected to be complete by the middle of next summer. Once opened, the existing Kroger on South Illinois Avenue will be closed with a new retailer expected to take its place.

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